NEA Legislative Report Card Shows a Congress Divided
Many representatives willing to cross the aisle to defend education, labor issues
WASHINGTON - February 06, 2012 -
The National Education Association Legislative Report Card for the first session of the 112th Congress (2011) was released this week. The annual report card measures members’ of Congress overall support for public education and educators, with each member receiving a letter grade of A, B, C, D or F.
In 2011, only 57 Congressional Republicans earned passing NEA grades while 143 did so in 2005. “Unfortunately, these ratings confirm that Congress is increasingly divided. But when it comes to education, we all have a responsibility to help our students succeed—especially our elected leaders,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel.
The grades of more moderate Democrats and Republicans rebounded from 2009-2010 lows as a result of bipartisan opposition to attacks on worker's rights and support for education programs, such as Title 1 and IDEA. Members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee also worked in bi-partisan fashion to adopt some needed improvements to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
“We have to work together to ensure adequate and equal funding for all public schools so that all students have the opportunity to succeed,” said Van Roekel. “These men and women are elected to represent our best interests. They hold much of the future of our students and our families in their hands. We need to know where they stand on important issues like public education and workers’ rights.”
NEA graded members of Congress based on selected votes in 2011. The grades were also based on other key legislative actions, such as behind-the-scenes advocacy for education and educators, bill co-sponsorships, committee votes and how accessible the members were to education advocates in their home state or district.
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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.
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